A research report on the state of B2B influencer marketing shares insight into business opportunities in 2022 and beyond.
Influencer marketing is working for the vast majority of marketers, according to the report.
The study from Lee Odden’s TopRank Marketing blog finds that 86% of B2B brands are successful with influencer marketing.
Through influencer marketing, B2B brands achieve results from boosting brand awareness and reputation to directly increasing sales.
A third of businesses report influencer marketing has led to increased revenue, and 85% believe interest in working with influencers will increase in the next 12 months.
The report answers questions about best practices and technologies, must-have qualities of a B2B influencer, and identifies key areas of future growth.
Here are some top highlights from the 60-page report.
Does B2B Influencer Marketing Work?
The maturity of B2B influencer marketing is similar to the evolution of content marketing in recent years.
After seeing success with one-off efforts, many brands are now integrating influencer marketing into their long-term strategies.
The study surveys B2B marketing and communications professionals about their results with influencer marketing:
- 86% say it’s either moderately or very successful
- 72% say it helped improve brand reputation
- 70% say it improved brand awareness
- 56% say it helped generate new leads
- 33% say it was a direct revenue generator
Who Is A B2B Influencer?
How do you know if someone is authentic, trustworthy, and credible enough to partner with as a B2B influencer?
According to the report, you need to look beyond vanity metrics like followers and subscribers.
“Audience size matters less than audience relevance. The sheer number of followers isn’t as important to marketers as relevance, credibility and expertise. Those with a large audience can help with the reach of a campaign, but it’s vital to include more influential people with smaller audiences.”
When asked about the influencers they partner with, B2B marketers and communications professionals say:
- Industry experts and analysts (77%)
- Internal executives (56%)
- Niche experts (48%)
- Customers (46%)
- Professional influencers (45%)
- Employees (42%)
- Prospects (12%)
Top Qualities Of A B2B Influencer
To learn more about the top qualities of a B2B influencer, TopRank Marketing asked survey respondents to rank a list of qualities as Essential, Nice to Have, or Not Important.
These are the results:
- Relevance of audience (98%)
- Audience sees them as trustworthy (87%)
- Subject matter expertise (78%)
- Values align with the brand (69%)
- Influencer publishes on at least one platform (65%)
- Ability to create content (54%)
- Size of audience (49%)
- Professional credentials (42%)
- Advocate for our brand (33%)
Most Effective Types Of Content For B2B Influencer Marketing
The types of content survey respondents
find most effective show a trend towards interactive and multimedia collaboration.
Blog posts topped the list in the last report. In 2022, webinars are the clear favorite.
When asked what types of content are favored in the current B2B influencer marketing climate, respondents said:
- Webinars (81%)
- Social media (74%)
- Blog posts (71%)
- Recorded video (67%)
- Interviews (62%)
- Podcasts (52%)
- Live video (48%)
- Case studies (38%)
- Industry (33%)
- Interactive content (31%)
- Third-party analyst (29%)
- Social audio (22%)
- Infographics (17%)
Top B2B Influence Opportunities
Although the B2B influencer marketing space is maturing, there’s still plenty of room for growth.
The report finds the most opportunity lies in strategy development:
- Less than half of B2B marketers say they have a documented influencer strategy
- 28% of businesses say they have an undocumented/informal strategy
- 25% say they have no strategy at all
For more on what’s working in B2B influencer marketing, the free report is available here.
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